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Edited Transcript of PLD earnings conference call or presentation 16-Apr-19 4:00pm GMT

Q1 2019 Prologis Inc Earnings Call

San Francisco Apr 18, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Prologis Inc earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Christopher N. Caton

Prologis, Inc. - Senior VP & Global Head of Research

* Eugene F. Reilly

Prologis, Inc. - CIO

* Hamid R. Moghadam

Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO

* Michael S. Curless

Prologis, Inc. - CIO

* Thomas S. Olinger

Prologis, Inc. - CFO

* Tracy A. Ward

Prologis, Inc. - SVP of IR & Corporate Communications

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Conference Call Participants

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* Blaine Matthew Heck

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst

* Craig Allen Mailman

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst

* David Bryan Rodgers

Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

* Derek Charles Johnston

Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division - Research Analyst

* Emmanuel Korchman

Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst

* Eric Joel Frankel

Green Street Advisors, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst

* James Colin Feldman

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst

* John William Guinee

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - MD

* Ki Bin Kim

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD

* Mei Wen Tan

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst

* Michael Bilerman

Citigroup Inc, Research Division - MD and Head of the US Real Estate and Lodging Research

* Nicholas Philip Yulico

Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Analyst

* Robert Jeremy Metz

BMO Capital Markets Equity Research - Director & Analyst

* Stephen Thomas Sakwa

Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Senior Equity Research Analyst

* Vikram Malhotra

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - VP

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Welcome to the Prologis Q1 earnings conference call. My name is Chris, and I will be your operator for today's call. (Operator Instructions) Also note, this conference is being recorded. I'd now like to turn the call over to Tracy Ward. Tracy, you may begin.

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Tracy A. Ward, Prologis, Inc. - SVP of IR & Corporate Communications [2]

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Thanks, Chris, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our first quarter 2019 conference call. The supplemental document is available on our website at prologis.com under Investor Relations.

I'd like to state that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the market and the industry in which Prologis operates as well as management's beliefs and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and actual operating results may be affected by a variety of factors. For a list of those factors, please refer to the forward-looking statement notice in our 10-K or SEC filings.

Additionally, our first quarter results press release and supplemental do contain financial measures such as FFO and EBITDA that are non-GAAP measures. And in accordance with Reg G, we have provided a reconciliation to those measures.

This morning, we'll hear from Tom Olinger, our CFO, who will cover results and guidance; and then Hamid Moghadam, our Chairman and CEO, who will comment on the company's outlook. Gary Anderson, Chris Caton Mike Curless, Ed Nekritz, Gene Reilly and Colleen McKeown are also here with us today. With that, I'll turn the call over to Tom.

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [3]

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Thanks, Tracy. Good morning, and thanks for joining our call. Let me start with a few high-level observations. Supply generally remains disciplined across our markets. User demand is exceptionally strong in the small and medium-size segments as our customers are prioritizing access to the end consumer and labor. Our proprietary leasing data continues to reflect healthy demand. Shellings, average gestation period and conversion rates have improved from the fourth quarter. This is notable as the first quarter is typically the softest leasing period of the year. Europe remained strong despite negative economic headlines, including the U.K., where our build-to-suit pipeline remains very active.

Now for our results. We had a great first quarter with very strong operating performance and core FFO of $0.73 per share. We leased almost 43 million square feet, bringing occupancy at quarter end to 96.8%. This was down 70 basis points sequentially, consistent with our strategy to push rates and term. Rent change on roll continued to be excellent with our share at over 25%, led by the U.S. at over 30% and Europe over 13%. Globally, our spread between in-place and market rents remains elevated at more than 15%. Our share of cash same-store NOI growth was also strong at 5.5%. This included a benefit of about 75 basis points from positive recovery and expense timing. G&A was about $5 million higher than expected due to stock-based compensation expense resulting from the increase in our share price. For capital deployment, we completed $157 million of dispositions and contributions. This excludes $500 million from the formation of our joint venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge in Brazil that closed in January. Starts were seasonally low at $239 million. However, we expect starts to accelerate meaningfully in the second quarter. Stabilizations were a record $691 million, with an estimated margin of 30%. We continue to access capital globally at very attractive terms. In addition to our $3.5 billion global line of credit recast announced earlier in the quarter, we refinanced $1.1 billion of yen debt at a weighted average interest rate of 45 basis points and a term of more than 8 years. During the quarter, we reduced our ownership in our open-ended European funds from 28% to 24%, generating proceeds of $313 million. This was to accommodate our partners and to bring our ownership in line with the venture's long-term target of 15%.

Investor interest in the logistics sector continues to be very high. We have significant investment capacity with over $4.1 billion of liquidity and more than $6.5 billion from potential fund sell-downs, positioning us to self-fund our run rate deployment needs well into the foreseeable future.

Now for 2019 guidance highlights, which are on an our-share basis. As we mentioned last quarter, we tempered our initial 2019 guidance by $0.05 per share to account for market and political turbulence at that time. We feel better today about our outlook, and our updated guidance removes $0.03 of that conservatism. As a result, we are raising and narrowing our cash same-store NOI guidance and now expect a range of 4.25% to 5%, up almost 40 basis points at the midpoint. We're bringing up the bottom end of our year-end occupancy forecast by 50 basis points to a range of 96.5% to 97.5%. We are raising our guidance for both development starts and acquisitions by $200 million to revised midpoints of $2 billion and $600 million, respectively. We're increasing the midpoint for stabilizations by $100 million to more than $2.1 billion. We're also raising our realized development gains by $125 million to a midpoint of $350 million. We generated net sources of $550 million in the first quarter. And as a result, there will be an earnings drag given the timing to redeploy this capital. For the full year, we expect $400 million in net deployment usage, which we plan to fund with modest leverage and free cash flow.

As a result of valuation gains in Europe, we now expect our net promote income for the full year to be $0.14 a share, up $0.04. As a reminder, the vast majority of the promote revenue will be earned in the third quarter. Taking these changes into account, we're increasing our 2019 core FFO guidance midpoint by $0.07 to $3.23 a share, and narrowing the range to between $3.20 and $3.26 per share. This includes $0.14 of net promote income. At the midpoint, core FFO excluding promotes is now approximately 8.5% higher than last year.

I want to point out that the value we create from our development business adds to this growth. This business is often underappreciated in valuation as we do not include realized gains in our core FFO, but it obviously adds to our cash flow growth. Our development business has a long and successful track record of significant profitability. We've completed over $12 billion of developments since the merger in 2011. Over this period, our development business has delivered an average margin of approximately 30% and has created more than $3.5 billion of value, roughly $450 million annually.

To sum up, we had a great quarter. We feel good about our position and are excited about our prospects for the rest of the year. And with that, I'll turn it over to Hamid.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [4]

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Thanks, Tom. You covered it well, and I don't have much to add. We had another great quarter. Our portfolio is in excellent shape, and our balance sheet is stronger than ever. With this foundational work behind us, we're entering the next phase in our evolution as a customer-centric organization. Our scale and global reach enable us to address the key pain points for our customers through innovation, data analytics, technology and customer service. That's why we realigned our executive team earlier in the quarter.

In closing, our plans are clear. We'll stay vigilant in looking for shifts in market conditions and customer sentiment, and remain confident in our ability to deliver sector-leading operational and financial results. With that, I'll turn it over to Chris for your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Your first question is from Jeremy Metz with BMO.

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Robert Jeremy Metz, BMO Capital Markets Equity Research - Director & Analyst [2]

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When we started the year, you talked about how Europe rent growth could possibly outpace the strength here in the U.S. as we move further into 2019. Obviously, the first quarter looked quite good in the U.S. You talked about the increased optimism in the market, what you're seeing in your data and your traffic there. So do you think Europe can still get there? And maybe more broadly, can you comment on your outlook for rent growth from here for both the U.S. and abroad?

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Christopher N. Caton, Prologis, Inc. - Senior VP & Global Head of Research [3]

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Jeremy, it's Chris Caton. Thanks for the question. Yes, indeed we've revised our rent growth forecast. We expect mid- to high 4s globally. That's more than a 100 basis point increase. We still expect Europe to outperform later this year, but the increase was principally driven by the U.S.

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Operator [4]

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Your next question comes from Manny Korchman with Citi.

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Michael Bilerman, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - MD and Head of the US Real Estate and Lodging Research [5]

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This is Michael Bilerman in here with Manny. Hamid, in your comments at the end of the call, you talked about transforming to this customer-centric organization. And I'm curious, how far down do you want to go in that outside of just leasing space to your customers? And clearly, you launched the whole data analytics platform. But could we see Prologis move into other verticals in helping your customers? I think this past quarter, Simon announced that they're launching an e-com platform where people are going to be able to buy goods online, and they'll get them to them rather than coming to the store. And I just don't know how far -- how you're thinking strategically about the other verticals that the company can go into.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [6]

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Good question, Michael. The way we're thinking about it today is that we are going to attack all of those things that our customers need to basically operate our properties. So these are products and services that they need to basically fully utilize our services. We're going beyond a roof and 4 walls in that sense. Are we going to be in those businesses ourself? The answer is clearly, no. But we will partner with vendors and other players that can help us execute that business plan. I'll say -- I will never say never, but right now our vision is limited to the logistics sector and the supply chain.

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Operator [7]

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Your next question is from Nick Yulico with Scotiabank.

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Nicholas Philip Yulico, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Analyst [8]

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Tom, I was hoping to hear just a little bit more about what drove the increase in the same-store guidance. And then on occupancy as well, you boosted that and I know you talked about the strategy of trying to push more renewals this year, and you thought that, that would create a little bit more frictional, I guess, vacancy on turnover. But with the occupancy guidance going up, does that mean that you're just finding tenants are willing to accept your higher renewal pricing more so?

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [9]

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Yes, Nick. If you look at the increase in the same-store, it's going to be a function of continued strong leasing activity, continued strong customer interest and demand, and occupancy did outperform our expectations. Our retention was quite good and quite high this quarter. But we are continuing to push rents and we will do that. Don't be surprised if you see occupancy be a little lower throughout the year. But we're going to make the right long-term decision, which is going to mean pushing rents and extending term. So it's really a function of better occupancy, a little better rent growth and really, really good customer dialogue and activity.

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Operator [10]

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Your next question is from Jamie Feldman with Bank of America.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [11]

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Great. Tom, you had mentioned in your remarks about strength at the small and mid-size segments. I just want to get your thoughts on how Prologis can attack that given the size of the company and your traditionally kind of larger box developments. And also just -- does that suggest you're seeing a slowdown at all in the big box? And just thoughts on supply there, going forward.

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [12]

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Yes. So Jamie, it's important to remember, when you look at our space sizes, our space sizes greater than 250,000 square feet represent about a 1/3 of our square footage by space. So spaces under 100,000 square feet, spaces between 100,000 and 250,000 represents 2/3. So we have a lot more -- much more space that's in-fill than not. And then when you look at that -- that is on square footage. So when you look at it based on NOI, certainly more NOI in the under 100,000 and 100,000 to 250,000. So we are well positioned to capture that market. And when you look at occupancy potential, occupancy is actually a little lower in the smaller and medium-sized boxes than the big boxes right now. So I think we have a -- we are well positioned to capture that opportunity.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [13]

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Yes, just to put some specific numbers around that. Only about 25% of our portfolio is sort of the really big box superregional type of facilities. So the vast majority of our portfolio is actually city distribution and maybe closer-in stuff. And to the extent that we have multi-market superregional distribution centers, those tend to be in very high barrier-to-entry markets. So the commentary about small and medium-size businesses was really intended to point to that strength. I wouldn't read weakness in the larger spaces, but there are some markets on the periphery, for example, the outlying corridors in Chicago, where there are a lot of big buildings and the market rent is softer for now until those buildings get absorbed. But that's the exception, not the rule.

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Operator [14]

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Your next question is from Craig Mailman with KeyBanc Capital Markets.

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Craig Allen Mailman, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst [15]

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Just 2 quick ones. I guess, first, Tom, you guys raised the promote $0.04. Was any of that related to the sell-down of PELF? Did that trigger anything? And also separately, you guys mentioned 2/3 of the portfolio is lesser leased than the big box stuff. Are you guys getting better pricing power on the smaller spaces than the big box spaces? Is there any kind of bifurcation in the market depending on space size?

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [16]

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Yes. Craig, so on your first question, there was no impact on the promote we -- the promote increase and the fund sell-down. Those are totally 2 separate items. Second, on the more -- the smaller spaces, the under 100,000, the 100,000 to 250,000, where we are definitely seeing higher rent change on roll in that category versus the bigger box. That's been something that's been pretty consistent. And I'd say it's probably accelerating. That spread is accelerating a bit.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [17]

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Yes, the big boxes got their growth early in the recovery cycle. And if you look at those rents, they are up significantly, as much as 40% or 50% during the course of the last 4, 5 years. And now, they're taking a pause and somewhat of a back seat to the medium and smaller spaces. But I think, by the time this is all over, all segments would have enjoyed really good rent growth.

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Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [18]

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These rents are going to follow replacement cost. And replacement cost on smaller spaces is significantly higher and it's growing faster as well.

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Operator [19]

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Your next question is from Steve Sakwa with Evercore ISI.

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Stephen Thomas Sakwa, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Senior Equity Research Analyst [20]

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Actually, I wanted to ask a question about development. I guess, you guys took your starts up for the year. And I'm just wondering if you could sort of talk about maybe the geographic kind of focus of where you're seeing the best opportunities. I guess Gene made the comment about replacement costs and that going up, and just how that's maybe impacting your going-in yields given the strong rent growth we're seeing, but presumably higher replacement costs.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [21]

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Yes, Steve, I would generally say that every deal is underwritten very specifically, looking at the dynamics of that market and the competitors that are on the market today and will be coming out of the ground down the road during the development period. So there is no general answer to that question. I mean, we underwrite rents that we think we're going to get. And by and large, the experience in the last 3 or 4 years has been that we have under-shot the rent growth, and actual rents have been higher than what we have projected, which is why the margins are better, that and obviously cap rate compression. So the smaller spaces are also more difficult to replace because they're generally in areas where land constraints are greater. So anyway, Gene, do you have anything to add to that?

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Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [22]

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Yes, Steve. Maybe just a little bit of color. So the starts in the quarter were in 12 different markets. And by the way, the average building size of those starts is about 200,000 feet. And every single building we build, whether it's 1 million feet or 150,000 feet, is subdividable, so we can appeal to the smaller customers. And if you look at our overall development program, it's 160 buildings in 51 different markets. And obviously, I'm not going to tick through all of these. But we stay away from the markets that are getting overbuilt, and I think we're very clear to keep you all updated on where those are. And so from a market selection perspective, we're lucky that most of the markets are very healthy right now and we feel very good about that composition.

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Operator [23]

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Your next question is from Blaine Heck with Wells Fargo.

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Blaine Matthew Heck, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [24]

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Tom, following up on promotes. When I look at the strategic capital page in your supplemental, there are 6 co-investment ventures that are eligible for promotes this year. Obviously, some are bigger than others. But I guess, I'm just wondering how many of those are assumed to be in the money at this point? Is there a chance that we could see promote guidance continue to move up as we progress through 2019?

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [25]

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You need to look at what's driving those different promotes. Some of the funds have annual development promotes to the extent they do development. But the vast majority of the promote will be earned where -- stating the obvious, where the larger AUM is. So that's going to be in our open-ended funds. And that's what's going to drive the bulk of our promote revenue.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [26]

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I would say, I can't think of any venture that is not in the money. I mean, they're all pretty much, at this point in the cycle, have been and will continue to be in the money, more or less. But the more time passes, obviously the more we'll capture that and there's going to be less of it available down the road. I mean, it will normalize down to a number, which historically has been about 25, 30 basis points of AUM, and the share that goes to the bottom line it's about 60% of that. So you can think about it as sort of 15-ish basis points of AUM that would be the across-the-cycle type of number. I mean, don't hold me to that, but that's what it's been over the last 10 or 15 years.

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Operator [27]

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Your next question is from John Guinee with Stifel.

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John William Guinee, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - MD [28]

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Great. Talking about some of your multilevel development, I think you've got one in Seattle. Can you talk about what rents you need to hit different floor levels and how that compares to market and whether the market is accepting of that product type? And then segue into the most current Amazon prototype, which I think maybe goes up 60 or 70 feet, relatively small footprint, and are you involved in those build-to-suits?

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Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [29]

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Yes, John. It's Gene. Let me start with that. So we do have a project in Seattle, it's Georgetown. And to give you a sense, market rents on the ground for older -- naturally older product in that in-fill location sort of range from $1 square foot to $1.40, depending on the size of the customer. And most of that is going to be sort of in the $1.10 range per month. Our product on average is probably going to be in the $1.40, but it's going to range from sort of $1.30 to maybe over $2 a square foot for certain space in our product. So there is definitely a premium. It's 20%, 25% depending on the size denomination. And we have done a 100,000 square foot lease in this asset. We've gotten that behind us. But I -- one lesson we've learned about this is that there is a process that we have to go through with customers. This is new product in a new location. We need to get a premium. We think we'll get that premium. But deal gestation periods are long, and those will continue to be long until customers are basically more accustomed to this product. With respect to the question on Amazon?

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Michael S. Curless, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [30]

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John, it's Mike. With Amazon, we certainly see everything in terms of RFPs given that they're our largest customer, and we pursue those opportunities that we think are the best fits within our portfolio. But broadly, we're seeing customers like Amazon and other customers focus on e-com with some network rollouts involved, a combination of large buildings and a series of higher number of smaller buildings that are located close-in to the larger population centers, all of which fits real well for our portfolio.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [31]

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Yes, I think, John, what you were probably driving at is that the old prototype was [8 80] and the new prototype is a little bit lower -- smaller, but much smaller footprint. And the reason for that is that they just would like to have more options in terms of the size of -- the parcel size that they can put the building on. So that's essentially what they're doing, is they're putting the same building into a higher clear -- clear height with more mezzanine floors, et cetera, et cetera, in it. So effectively increasing the utilization of the site.

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Operator [32]

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Your next question is from Eric Frankel with Green Street Advisors.

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Eric Joel Frankel, Green Street Advisors, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [33]

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Just a question on same-store results. Can you clarify how much of your same-store NOI growth is attributable to free rent burn-off? And then just on, obviously, your investment activity in the first quarter is generally fairly light, but just noticing your acquisitions this quarter, I think your 4.3% stabilized cap rate, I think, is an all-time low. So maybe you can just talk about pricing in the market for assets that you'd like to buy and the competitiveness, and what you think the total return prospects are.

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [34]

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Eric, this is Tom. I'll answer the first question. On free rent, was a little more than 50 basis points of benefit in the first quarter, and that's a pretty good run rate. It will bounce around quarter-to-quarter just based on mix and the like, but that's a pretty fair run rate. And it also would explain, long term, the spread between -- or why the spread between cash and GAAP should be about 50 basis points on the same-store.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [35]

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Yes, and that's why we actually focus on the GAAP number more than the cash number, but we got tired of that battle, so we now feature the cash number more prominently. But really the right way to look at is the way you asked, which is to factor in all the concessions. With respect to the 4.3% yield on investments this quarter, look, we're not buyers of stabilized operating properties that have been maxed out. By and large, we're buying value-added plays. We're buying covered land plays. We're buying things that have significantly below-market leases. We're trying to operate in areas where other more constrained institutional capital cannot compete. And we're not afraid to take on leasing risk or redevelopment risk or rehab risk. So a lot of that 4.3% reflects those kinds of situations. If you were to, for example, look at the NOI at market, those investments would be actually in the mid 5s to high 5s, low 6s type of numbers, but it may take us a few years to get to those numbers. We're really focused on replacement cost in those kinds of investments as well, because that shows us how much upside there is in those deals.

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Operator [36]

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Your next question is from Vikram Malhotra with Morgan Stanley.

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Vikram Malhotra, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - VP [37]

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Just going back to Europe. Just two parts to that. Given sort of the broader slowdown in several markets, can you give us a little bit more color on maybe rent growth and prospects by some of the key markets? And then second, just a bigger-picture question on looking at Europe as a case study for how logistics may perform in somewhat of a slowing environment as it relates to the U.S., if the U.S. were to slow down, any thoughts there would be great.

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Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [38]

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It's Gene. I'll take the high level and then Chris can probably add some color on the rent growth specifics. But basically, Europe is performing very well right now, more so by far than the economic headlines. And remember that part of the demand in Europe continues to be supply chain reconfiguration and modernization of that supply chain. So you're going to continue to see take-up that is in excess of the economic growth. And other than some limited weaker markets -- Spain is pretty weak right now, for example, and some of the CE is fairly weak. But overall, we're seeing strength. And with respect to specifics on rent growth, maybe I'll turn it to Chris.

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Christopher N. Caton, Prologis, Inc. - Senior VP & Global Head of Research [39]

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Yes, happy to share it. So key message naturally will be the rotation of outperformance from the U.K. to the continent. Rents are rising faster on a net effective basis on the continent. That's led by a combination of markets, Germany, the Netherlands, and to pick 1 region, Central Europe, both in Poland and Czech Republic, are also outperforming.

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Operator [40]

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Your next question is from Sarah Tan with JPMorgan.

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Mei Wen Tan, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [41]

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I'm on the line for Michael Mueller. A quick question on -- could we get some color on the low acquisition cap rate of 4.6%? Was this stabilized for the value of the assets? And where did you guys buy?

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [42]

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Sarah, we are having a really hard time hearing you, but I think your question was, what explains the low cap rates on our recent acquisitions? And you may have [missed it], we just talked about it.

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Mei Wen Tan, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [43]

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Yes, that first one (inaudible)

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [44]

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Yes, I'm sorry. I just explained that maybe a minute ago, in response to Eric's question. But basically, the 4.3% reflects a lot of unstabilized deals and covered land plays and the like that are not stabilized. If you were to look at the stabilized numbers at market, they would be significantly higher cap rates.

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Eugene F. Reilly, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [45]

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And I'd add on to this and just say, you're going to see this quarter-to-quarter. You're going to see cap rates on acquisitions are going to be all over the map, because we are buying -- particularly in in-fill sites, it's almost impossible to buy a site that is leased at market because rents have been growing so quickly. So this is something we'll probably get used to.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [46]

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By the way, anticipating everybody's next question, that our dispositions of that are at a higher cap rate than our acquisitions. And the answer is yes, because they're value maximized. We've rolled all those leases to market. And by and large, they're a sale of nonstrategic assets. So that explains the other end of that equation.

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Operator [47]

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Your next question is from Dave Rodgers with Baird.

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David Bryan Rodgers, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [48]

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I guess, maybe just to follow up on the PELF sale. Thoughts about selling down in Europe maybe versus selling down in the U.S. Can you give us some added color on demand for assets and kind of where you still over-own in the U.S. in your funds, but especially given kind of the comments about growth you just mentioned about Europe? So maybe wrap all that up, will be great.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [49]

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Yes, our challenge in selling down is that we don't need the capital. And if anything, it gets us to too low a leverage and dilutes our earnings growth. So we're now underlevered. We're just over 20% of market value in terms of leverage, and we'd like to be higher than that. So that's why we're not out there rebalancing to the target size immediately. It's -- in effect, it's money that's invested and we're happy with where it's invested. And once we find other deployment opportunities, for example, building up our land bank or other acquisitions, then we can, in effect, sell down those funds and redeploy in places where we want. In terms of our ability to sell down, both of our open-end funds are -- have significant queues. And in fact -- and they have significant shadow queues. And we've stopped trying to raise more money for them because until we can get the capital invested, there's no point doing that. So there's plenty of money, and our timing decision is more driven by our alternative investment opportunities. We are not making a market call about Europe or U.S. or any of these things. We think there's plenty of rental growth left in both markets.

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Operator [50]

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Your next question is from Derek Johnston with Deutsche Bank.

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Derek Charles Johnston, Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division - Research Analyst [51]

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With rising equity valuation, how do you think about the possible use of equity capital given the favorable cost profile?

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [52]

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The most profitable use of capital for us is building out our existing land bank, because the marginal return on those investments is significantly higher than anything else we can do with the capital. As to whether we need more capital or more equity, we don't need more equity. So we're not going to be raising any equity anytime soon and maybe never. And we can -- the way we look at it in terms of our run rate development needs and capital, our ability to sell down in our funds back to target levels is enough to take care of 10 years of that type of deployment. So we've got lots of money. The question is, where are the best places to deploy it?

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Operator [53]

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Your next question is from Manny Korchman with Citi.

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Emmanuel Korchman, Citigroup Inc, Research Division - VP and Senior Analyst [54]

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Tom, earlier in the call, I think, you said that $0.03 of the guidance split was related to being less conservative than you were, call it, 90 days ago. If we go back to your comments then, it looked like about $0.02 of that was based on same-store occupancy and $0.03 was based on deployment. Is that still the same mix? Or are you now essentially not just less confident or buffering, but you're actually beyond where you thought things would be?

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [55]

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Yes. So just a reminder, so the $0.05 originally in the January call was $0.02 of NOI, including same-store, $0.02 of more and faster deployment potential and $0.01 from just fees related to higher transaction volumes. That was our original plan. That was the delta. Today, I think the mix -- we've got $0.02 to go there, and that mix is relatively the same. That $0.02 is probably a little back half weighted from a deployment standpoint -- from a driver standpoint. But no, we've got $0.02 to go. If the market conditions hold, customer sentiment remains strong, build-to-suit activity is good, then I would expect that we would see this $0.02 of upside down the road, if things hold. But we'll tell you how things are. We're giving it to you straight. This is our best guess at where we're going to land today based on what we see, and we'll update you as that view changes.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [56]

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Yes, the converse of what just Tom said is, by definition, if the mix is the same with the $0.02 that remains, the $0.03 of, if you want to call it, outperformance or reversion to original performance targets is also the same mix. So everything is the same mix that we originally laid out for the $0.05. It's just we haven't realized the full potential yet. Doesn't mean we won't. But we'll report on that as time goes on.

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Operator [57]

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Your next question is from Jamie Feldman with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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James Colin Feldman, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and Senior US Office and Industrial REIT Analyst [58]

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Great. Just a quick follow-up on the AI initiatives, or big data initiatives. Can you provide some thoughts on what you think it might mean for margins or impact on earnings or development margins, just some ability to quantify what this whole program might mean?

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [59]

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Well, the first -- that's a big topic. The first specific project that we're tackling is revenue management, and our expectations for the impact of revenue management is between 1% and 3%. And if you were going to put a gun to my head, I would probably say 2% to 3%. But we'll see, and we're expecting to fully roll that program up in -- at the beginning of the third quarter, but of course, it will take a number of years before the results of that fully come about because not all the leases are rolling over at the same time. So that's just the first project. We have -- once we get that one over the finish line, we have a number of other projects that are on the docket for us to roll that out, but we're going to take our time and do each part properly and build some confidence in the organization in terms of our ability to do that work and move on to the next one.

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Operator [60]

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Your next question is from Ki Bin Kim with SunTrust.

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Ki Bin Kim, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD [61]

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I think most of the big questions have been asked already, so just a couple of follow-ups. Going back to Europe, can you talk a little bit more about your customer behavior you're noticing there as it compares to the U.S.? And maybe it doesn't show up in the rental rates or occupancy, and maybe it's more subtle in terms of what's the language in the leases or duration or TI usage, but maybe you can provide some color on how that compares to U.S. And the second question, this might be a little bit early. But do you have any kind of early thoughts on micro-fulfillment centers, and what impact that might make on business?

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [62]

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Yes. So in Europe, look, absorption across the continent was in the 68 million to 70 million square foot range a couple of years ago, and now it's in excess of 90 million square feet of absorption. So trends are reasonably healthy in Europe. And in terms of discernible trends, I would say there is less spec development in Europe and, therefore, more of our business is build-to-suit and customers -- we have a better -- I mean, we have plenty of good build-to-suit pipeline in the States, but it's even better in Europe. And that market tends to be less spec. So -- and land is interesting in Europe, because in a couple of the big markets, like Germany and France, by and large, land is controlled by the government and there are strict controls as to how much of it they release for development. And usually, it's tied to employment generation and the like. So the metering out of land and, if you will, the risk of overbuilding of spec is less in Europe than it is in the U.S. for that reason. Mike, anything else you want to...?

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Michael S. Curless, Prologis, Inc. - CIO [63]

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Yes, I think it's worth pointing out, 3PLs are very active, probably at 2x the percentage we see in the U.S. A lot of activity -- last-touch activities. And we're seeing familiar players like UPS and Amazon over there making some significant structural investments. So good activity and sentiment in Europe.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [64]

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And on e-commerce, they are ahead of us, by and large, because they don't have quite the same infrastructure of existing retail in 26 different formats.

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Operator [65]

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Your next question comes from John Guinee with Stifel.

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John William Guinee, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Research Division - MD [66]

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Great. Yes, one follow-up question. My recollection, Tom, correct me if I got this wrong, but you raised your dividend about $0.05 a share, 10.4%, late in the first quarter. Was that just to meet your taxable minimum or did you pay a dividend above your taxable minimum?

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [67]

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No, John, it's the former. It's to meet our minimum. We continue, quite frankly, to run that tight. We're retaining a lot of cash flow. If you look at our earnings over the last 3 years, we're going to grow north -- based on our new midpoint, north of 9%. Our cash flow and AFFO has grown in the low double digits. Our dividend has grown 8% over that same period of time. So we clearly have capacity.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [68]

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By the way, while we've delevered. We delevered by about 10 points.

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Thomas S. Olinger, Prologis, Inc. - CFO [69]

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Yes. So we're -- it's the bare minimum, is the short answer.

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Hamid R. Moghadam, Prologis, Inc. - Chairman of the Board & CEO [70]

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Okay. John, you get the last word. I thank you for your attendance and look forward to seeing you next quarter, if not sooner. Thank you.

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Operator [71]

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This concludes today's conference call. You may now disconnect.